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Study Day at the Manx Museum Inspires Keen Quilters 8 August 2006

Patchwork quilts on the bed may be a dim and distant memory for some people, but for many other people patchwork and quilting is a fascinating hobby. As a result Manx National Heritage held a Quilt Study Day on Saturday 29th July at the Manx Museum, Douglas. The study day provided an opportunity for people to see a wide selection of 19th and early 20th century patchwork quilts from the collections of Manx National Heritage.

More than 25 keen quilt enthusiasts gathered at the Manx Museum to spend the day studying a variety of different types of historic patchwork quilts. The day started with an illustrated talk about the background history of Manx patchwork by Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History, and was followed by a guided ‘tour’ of a selection of quilts from the collections which were put out on display for the day. The afternoon session was an opportunity for people to study the various quilts in greater detail.

The Quilt Study Day was staged in preparation for a temporary exhibition of Manx Patchwork and Quilting to be held at the Manx Museum from Christmas 2007. The exhibition will contain various examples of historic quilts from the collections of Manx National Heritage, together with a selection of modern contemporary quilts made by quiltmakers on the Island today. Last Saturday’s study day allowed quilters on the Island to study the historic quilts in preparation for submitting their own modern quilts, inspired by the Manx traditions, for the forthcoming exhibition next year. Patchwork Quilt Study Day

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History, said:

Saturday was a wonderful opportunity to show people the variety of quilts made on the Island in the past. Having worked with the quilt collection for several years, I thoroughly enjoyed showing the quilts to so many interested and knowledgeable people. The quilts on display ranged from relatively plain woollen ones made in the cottages and farmhouses through to more ornate patchwork quilts made from expensive dress and furnishing fabrics in houses similar to the Grove in Ramsey.

I was pleased to see that not only quilters from the Island had taken advantage of the opportunity to see the Manx quilts, but that there were also visitors from England, including some who had made the trip especially to see the quilts on display at the Study Day. This was evidence, if it was needed, of just how passionate and enthusiastic people are about their hobby and as one visitor said, the historic quilts are both an ‘inspiration’ and ‘inspiring’ for modern quilters.

Another Quilt Study Day at the Manx Museum is planned for later in the year to allow quilters a further opportunity to see the wide variety of patchwork quilts made on the Island in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Manx Museum is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and is open all year from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

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